UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has voted to inscribe Louisiana’s Poverty Point State Historic Site as a World Heritage Site, making Poverty Point the 22nd World Heritage Site in the US.
It joins the likes of the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt as World Heritage Sites.
Poverty Point was the U.S. Department of the Interior’s lone nomination for the status. The 3,400-year-old site is considered one of the most culturally significant American Indian sites in the US. Programs and tours are offered daily and show visitors how life might have been for the prehistoric inhabitants of the area. Poverty Point is the largest, most complex US archeological site of its age. No other site in the US matched its size until at least 2,000 years later.
In addition to its impressive size and design, the site is outstanding because of its widespread trade network. The site’s design is unlike any other site in the world, including a massive earthen complex, with six mounds, six concentric, C-shaped ridges and a large, flat plaza. Archaeologists believe Native Americans moved 25 million cubic feet of dirt to build the earthworks.